Parish Councillors Present:
West Oxfordshire District Council:
Hilary Hibbert-Biles, District Councillor
Oxfordshire County Council: Rodney Rose
Ascott Recovery Committee (ARC):
Members of the Public:
No apologies received.
The December minutes were agreed, dated, signed and filed.
3 MATTERS ARISING:
OCC Highways – It was reported that Highways had now reinstated the verge on the one side of the Village Green. It was noted that vehicles were still parking down the one side and that other vehicles, in order to pass, had mounted the Village Green. This practice was vastly increased at times when parents were dropping off and collecting from the Windrush School. Please note “Public Questions” Clerk was asked to write to Dennis Everndon, the Area Commander Witney Police and Mr Wood, Headteacher to request that he ask all parents to park responsibly.
It was reported that the Potholes on London Lane were becoming increasingly worse – Clerk to notify OCC.
It was reported that the sign at the bottom of Chipping Norton Hill, on the River Bridge was now worse than ever – Clerk to chase and request a replacement.
Pavilion/Sports Club – Roger Shepherd reported that the field was now very wet. He had made enquiries about drainage to White Horse Contractors – District Councillor reminded Roger Shepherd that should he intend to apply for a grant to assist with this, time was running out.
Action Roger Shepherd
Village Shop – Stuart Fox reported that the Shop had won 2 local awards. First as Oxfordshire retailer of the year and the second as winner, in the southern region village shop category, of the national competition “Rural Retailer of the Year Awards.” In this competition we would now go on to compete in the national finals.
Parish Conservation Plan – Stuart reported that Shane Barnes had now completed the clearing and leveling of the ground and that the next stage would be to move the stones. He also reported that he was seeking copyright approval for the pictures to be used on the Ascott Barrow explanatory display board and confirmation of the wording, from the Oxfordshire Museum Service.
5 Shilling Quarries – Ongoing – Clerk to chase Kath James again with regards to liability, signs and fencing off etc.
2a Shipton Road – It was reported by the District Councillor that Building Control had now passed the original planning application, however Engineers were still looking at this.
Cornbury Estate – Clerk was asked to write to the Estate Office and remind Lord Rotherwick that there were some 5 trees still blocking the river, which need addressing.
Post Office – It was reported that this facility was still proving to be beneficial. The District Councillor did report that a meeting was to be held on 14th February to discuss the future of rural Post Offices and urged that the Parish Council be represented. Bridgette Crundwell confirmed that she would endeavour to attend.
Action Bridgette Crundwell
Risk Assessment – Ongoing – to be addressed by the end of March by Stuart Fox, Elaine Byles and Sally Franks.
Action Stuart Fox, Elaine Byles & Sally Franks
Internal Audit – Stuart Fox reported that the Parish Council are obliged to discuss and confirm to content and extent of the internal audit. At the moment the Minutes, Finance, Risk Assessments, Budgets & Forecasts were currently included in the Internal Audit. It was suggested that the audit should include any declaration of interests. Stuart Fox proposed to ask Margaret Ismail to carry out the internal audit again, this was seconded by all Councillors, together with their support of her competence.
Action Stuart Fox
RoSPA Report – Clerk had sent a copy of the RoSPA report to Lappset, who had replied confirming they would replace the See Saw free of charge and address the other issues.
Flooding – The District Councillor reported that the Report prepared by WODC was released on Thursday 10th and that a press conference was being held today. It was noted that the Parish Council had not yet had site of this Report. ARC had also asked the Parish Council to prepare a mandate for them to assist in supporting the Parish Council. Clerk to compile this.
An email had been received from John Cull with regards to the Green and the reinstatement of the verge.
Clerk had received a telephone call from Mr James, 6 Cook Row, who unfortunately could not make the meeting. Mr James was concerned that assembly points for sandbags were the Tiddy Hall for the Ascott Earl end of the Village, Crown Farm for the Church, the Green and the middle of the Village, but nothing for High Street and that end of the Village. Mr James also asked if the Church bells or the War Siren could be used as a form of communication to alert parishioners in an emergency, such as flooding.
07/1924/P/FP ERECTION OF DETACHED DWELLING at LAND ADJACENT TO 14 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD.
07/2178/P/FP ERECTION OF SINGLE STOREY LINK EXTENSION, RE-ROOFING OF OUTBUILDING at HILL COTTAGE, 48 SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD
07/2237/P/FP ERECTION OF SINGLE STOREY EXTENSION TO GARDEN ROOM at 35 HIGH STRET, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD.
5(a) PLANNING BREACHES:
ENFORCEMENT REFERENCE: 06/0345
ALLEGED BREACH: WORKS NOT BEING BUILT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPROVED PLAN: 07/0521/PF/P at 35 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD
6. FINANCIAL REPORT:
Payments In £
(last of funding for stone walling)
Payments Out £
WODC RoSPA Inspection £51.70 Cheque No. 100622
Clerks Quarterly expenses £96.78 Cheque No. 100623
Clerks Quarterly salary £493.40 Cheque No. 100624
HM Inland Revenue £139.18 Cheque No. 100625
7. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
Rodney Rose reported that drainage was being discussed this week, together with ongoing discussions regarding the ice on the river bridge. He also confirmed that there were now budget procedures for council tax etc.
8. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
Hilary Hibbert-Biles reported that Cottsway were looking to develop Langston House & Greenlands and that this would be going to consultation again to see what the public want in terms of extra care for the elderly. Hilary also reported that whilst in attendance at Ascott with Andrew Tucker from WODC to assess the flooding a horsebox came through the Village. Hilary reiterated the planning issue whereby Crown Farm were supposed to be directing all the horseboxes that were accessing the farm to use the entrance on the top road. Clerk was asked to write to Mr Badger and confirm that signs were in place directing horseboxes to this entrance.
Hilary reported that on Thursday 10th January she attended Ascott and walked through the Village with some of the ARC members and that Rodney Rose and Ian Hudspeth would be attending a further meeting with the WODC engineer.
Hilary reported on the issues at the Yew Tree Farm development in Ascott and confirmed there had been a lot of correspondence, but unfortunately as 10 years had now passed and the developer had moved away, this issue was proving difficult to resolve, but was ongoing.
9. PUBLIC QUESTIONS:
Q: Andrew Jackson asked, on behalf of his brother, whether or not a council tenant needed permission to have a dog? He advised the meeting that a property in Heritage Lane had 4 dogs, possibly 5 plus a large number of cats, which at times were a nuisance.
A: District Councillor advised Mr Jackson that his brother would need to contact the Environment Agency and Cottsway Housing Association. Clerk asked to write to David Waters at Cottsway also.
Q: Roger Shepherd asked the Parish Council if they would consider contributing towards the hirecharge of the Tiddy Hall whilst being used for the post office facility?
A: The Parish Council would certainly consider this – Roger was asked to confirm the amount of the hire charge and report back.
Q: Nigel Braithwaite asked the Parish Council if the minutes could be posted on the website quicker?
A: Clerk advised that the minutes would always be a month behind, ie. December’s minutes being posted on the website after approval at the January meeting. Rodney Rose re-iterated this procedure, confirming that the minutes would be worthless had they not been approved before being placed on the website. Clerk to make an addition to the Grapevine article advising the village that a copy of the minutes could be emailed to them, once approved.
Q: Nigel Braithwaite asked the Parish Council if they were aware of the large Willow Tree that had fallen down in the River? Nigel believed this to be on Pudlicote’s land.
A: Clerk to write to Pudlicote and advise.
Q: John Smith advised the Parish Council of the state of the drain on the corner by Crown Farm, which has never been cleaned out.
A: Both Rodney & Hilary would be attending a meeting on Wednesday with the WODC engineer to address drainage.
Q: John Smith expressed his anger at the parking around the Green by parents dropping off and collecting their children from the Windrush School. John advised the meeting that he had been verbally abused by parents and that cars were not being parked legally or responsibly.
A: After discussion, Clerk was asked to write to Dennis Everndon, Area Commander for Witney Police advising him of the Village’s concerns, copying the letter to Mr Wood, Headteacher of the Windrush School.
Q: The Parish Council were asked for an update on the relationship between them and ARC.
A: This was still being discussed and would continue to be discussed and finalised after the meeting was closed.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Stuart Fox reported that OALC were suggesting parish councils consider public participation throughout a meeting or at the end of a meeting. It was confirmed that the Ascott Parish Council had been operating both methods for some months and actively encouraged public participation.
Stuart Fox reported that he had been approached by a gentleman called Richard Lord, who operates an environmental charity and had asked if he could run a Rally on the Village Green. There would be approximately 50 people, all of whom would travel to the venue either by foot or manual transport. It was suggested that the recreation ground may be more suitable. Stuart to report back to Mr Lord.
Action Stuart Fox
There being no further business, Elaine Byles as Vice Chairman closed the meeting at 9.35pm and confirmed the next meeting would be held on Monday 11th February 2008.